Teen Will Drive Soon

It seems like a “right of passage” from childhood into becoming an adult. Your little boy or girl turns 17 and MUST have a car because everyone in school has one. Teens crave the freedom away from Mom and Dad, acceptance by their peers and the ability to show off, especially if the car is dad’s Dodge Challenger with a V-8 hemi.

Teen Driving Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death in the Canada. An average of 600 teens die and another 30,000 are injured annually across the country. Teens crash for many reasons, but the most common are overconfidence, speeding, impaired driving, distraction and inexperience. In addition, seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group on the road.

In the Canada, teens (17 to 20 years of age) are involved in 15% of crashes, and in some localized areas that percentage is even higher! Recent statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are now the #1 killer of teens in Canada, and while crashes account for only 2% of all deaths nationwide, they account for a surprising 70% of teen injury deaths. Speed, distraction, fatigue and inexperience, coupled with a lack of seat belt use, are all prevalent factors in these fatal crashes.

Driver Education

In fact, because of the high death toll involved with teen driving, many provinces have already enacting Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

Graduated Driver Licensing introduces teenage drivers to the road in stages, over an extended period of time and in an environment that minimizes risk. First is the Learner Stage (minimum 9 months) where the teen practices with supervision and restrictions. Next is the Intermediate Stage (minimum 15 months) where the teen is allowed independent driving with restrictions. Only after successfully completing both phases will the teen be granted driving privileges in the Full Stage (first 3 years with a zero blood alcohol level for the first 3 years). As your teen learns this new and important skill, practice is very important. As a parent or guardian of a new driver, spend as much time as possible helping and teaching your teen good driving habits.

Many provinces have restrictive laws that go along with having a GDL license. In Manitoba these restrictions include:

  • May not drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a qualified supervising driver in the front seat.
  • Limit other passengers in the back seat(s) up to the number of functioning seat belts.
  • Maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration.
  • Driver and ALL passengers must wear seat belts

These laws may vary a bit by province but are now becoming extremely common. With GDL laws in Manitoba, your child must be at least 16 years of age (15 1/2 if enrolled in high school drivers education) and complete 9 months of driving, before they can take a road test but a further 4 years and 3 months have a full license with no restrictions.

Pembina Insurance Services and Auto Insurance

Insurance statistics show that since the youthful driver is significantly more likely to have an accident than a typical adult driver, so there will be a higher cost when the youthful driver obtains car insurance in their name. As long as the youth lives at home, if the parent qualifies for a lower premium, they could purchase the car, register it in their name and then allow the youthful driver to use it.

For example, a father is the legal owner of a vehicle, but the son uses it to attend university and a part-time job. The father has retained legal ownership of the vehicle and does not want to give his son exclusive use of the vehicle. In this situation, the father is still the registered owner of the vehicle, but consents to his son’s use of it.

Let us assist you in making a good choice for your teen.  Contact Pembina Insurance Services and one of our brokers can help you make the right decision when buying that first car for your teenager.